I recently came across a pretty mind boggling infographic, created by the talented Brooklyn based illustrator Jennifer Daniels (check out her site for the best web address ever) for Bloomberg Businessweek. It breaks down the statistics of pharma spam to reveal a multi million dollar industry with all the infrastructure of a legitimate business.
What really amazed me was the funnel that guides revenue from 365,000,000 spam email links goes to just 45 merchants. This graphic is a fascinating and slightly spine chilling look at how a few racketeers can make millions off of people’s gullibility. This is despite the fact that only a fraction of a fraction of a percent of their emails get acted on.
After a minute I started thinking about what a sad state of affairs it is when Americans can’t afford healthcare so they will resort to the black market with no guarantee of what they are paying for. And then I looked at the breakdown of what most of them are buying. Oh, right.
Spam, and pharma spam in particular, is influenced by a startling number of factors and I think the design of this infographic helps not only convey the scale of the issue but offers some surprising insights that might help us get a little less of this flooding our inboxes.
Take a look at the full graphic on flickr.